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BATON ROUGE, La. – Less than a month after sinning a bill requiring a 2 percent of the state's fuel sales to be ethanol enriched, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has signed an additional bill that states the sales of the ethanol fuel is not required if it will raise the price of fuel at pumps The Associated Press reported.
The first bill outlined a program that would require a benchmark of 50 million gallons of ethanol to be produced in Louisiana. After that volume is reached, 2 percent of fuels sold in the state would have to include ethanol additives.
Opposition to this bill centered on the resulting increase in gas price that ethanol additives would incur.
According to the report, in the last hours of session lawmakers approved the second bill that does not require ethanol fuels to be sold if the price of Louisiana ethanol stays below the average wholesale price of regular gasoline for 60 days. Blanco signed the bill last week.
In addition, a committee with representatives from the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, the Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience store Association and faculty from a college will meet every third month to compile numbers and decide if the averages will determine the start of the mandate.
A federal subsidy will be included in the consideration of ethanol prices.
Louisiana lawmakers cited consumer protection and the advance of ethanol and alternative fuel industries for their reasons to sign the bill, The Associated Press reported.
In similar news, The Associated Press reported that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt toured the state to promote its ethanol bill that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2008. It requires most of the state's fuel to be blended with 10 percent ethanol. The bill applies only when the price of ethanol-blended fuel is equal to or drops below the price of regular gasoline.
In Missouri, ethanol plants are located in Craig, Macon and Malta Bend. A fourth refinery in Laddonia is expected to begin production this fall. Combined, the four plants are expected to produce about 156 million gallons of ethanol annually. Further expansion will increase that number to 350 million by 2007 or 2008, the report stated.